(WASHINGTON) — President Obama called California Attorney General Kamala Harris on Thursday night to apologize for referring to her as the “best looking” attorney general.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters Friday that Obama told Harris he was sorry both for the joking remark and the distraction it caused.
“He called her to apologize for the distraction created by his comments, and they are old friends and good friends, and he did not want in any way to diminish the attorney general’s professional accomplishments and her capabilities,” Carney said.
“He fully recognizes the challenges women continue to face in the workforce and that they should not be judged based on appearance,” Carney added.
And Harris wasn’t miffed.
“The Attorney General and the President have been friends for many years. They had a great conversation yesterday and she strongly supports him,” said Gil Duran, her communications director.
On Thursday, President Obama called California’s attorney general Kamala Harris “the best-looking attorney general,” during remarks at a fundraiser in Atherton, Calif.
“You have to be careful to, first of all, say she is brilliant and she is dedicated and she is tough, and she is exactly what you’d want in anybody who is administering the law, and making sure that everybody is getting a fair shake. She also happens to be by far the best-looking attorney general in the country — Kamala Harris is here.”
“It’s true! C’mon,” he said Thursday as the crowd laughed, according to a report provided by a print reporter at the home of John Goldman, an heir to the Levi-Strauss fortune.
“And she is a great friend and has just been a great supporter for many, many years. She’s brilliant and she’s dedicated,” Obama said at a luncheon fundraiser benefiting the DNC.
Harris has served as California’s attorney general since 2011 and is a rising star for Democrats. She is often mentioned as a potential candidate for governor.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
David Goldman, CNN
Herb Scribner, Deseret News